I've just re-watched "Scorpion: part 1 & 2". This time I noticed there is a problem with the whole premise of the episodes.

It's this part of part 1:

BORG: State your demands.

JANEWAY: I want safe passage through your space. Once my ship is beyond Borg territory, I'll give you our research.

BORG [OC]: Unacceptable. Our space is vast. Your passage would require too much time. We need the technology now.

JANEWAY: If I give it to you now, you'll assimilate us.

BORG: Species 8472 must be stopped. Our survival is your survival. Give us the technology.

JANEWAY: No. Safe passage first or no deal.

We know from the episode 'Gift' that Kes throws them 9500 light-years, (which is safely beyond Borg space). We also know that the Borg have Trans-warp Technology, and Voyager can fit inside a Borg vessel, (or even be given a Trans-warp coil: Voyager uses a stolen Trans-warp coil in a later episode).

The problem I'm having is that towing them across Borg space at Warp makes no sense, not if time is important. There are 2 options here:

  1. Give Voyager a Transwarp Coil to cross their space fast
  2. Take them inside a Cube/Sphere and Trans-warp across Borg space

I don't know how long it would take to cross 9500 light-years, but I am sure its faster than towing/escorting them at warp like they did, (Given the risk of 8472 destroying Voyager too).

Which leaves the question: Is there any evidence from what is known about Trans-warp, that might prevent it being an option in these 2 episodes?

I know there would be no story. I'm sure Janeway must have thought about it, when she considered negotiating with the Borg. Is there something I've missed that would prevent Trans-warp here?

(I'm also curious how long 9500 light-years would take at Trans-warp but that's not important.)

Thanks to @Tim the distance requires 2.6 minutes in total at transwarp, so this makes absolutely no sense

  • 6
    They want it NOW!!!!!
    – Valorum
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 16:16
  • Janeway's proposal is they wait 10 years for it though, which is ludicrous! (Voyagers needs about 10 year to cross that distance). Even on the cube she was only designing the case and launch systems, not giving them the Nano-probes.
    – Matt
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 16:25
  • From memory option 1 wouldn't have worked. Something about Voyger's physical structure. Also they tried it once with a stolen one, and while it worked it burned out pretty quickly and the ship suffered damage.
    – Tim
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 1:48
  • 1
    For transwarp calculation look here: forums.spacebattles.com/threads/… Transwarp speed using just a coil is about: 1,927,144,674.07c Thus it would take about 2.6 minutes to travel 9500ly at transwarp.
    – Tim
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 1:57
  • @Valorum I thought that was gonna be a JG Wentworth meme Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 18:25

3 Answers 3


Transwarp technology, to the best of my knowledge, is used for distances beyond even the 9500 light years and involves warping time and space. I doubt it could be used to pinpoint an exact time and place without messing something up (like time).

As to your second thought... well, would you willingly park your ship and crew in a Borg ship? It seems likely the Borg would overtake and assimilate the crew. They would then have the research they were looking for, and at the same time be rid of those pesky humans making demands.

  • 1
    There's a whole bunch of different transwarp technologies (and phenomena, like wormholes) in Star Trek, and offhand only one or two involved time travel of any sort. The Borg definitely have safe transwarp technology, having used it quite often and with good precision.
    – Izkata
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 22:02
  • 2
    This answer doesn't make sense Borg transwarp is very reliable, and they are no safer outside the cube than inside it. Janeways threat was to delete the doctors program (and all knowledge with it), at the first sign of assimilation. Plus Voyager has used a transwarp coil from the Borg AND the whole ship has been inside a sphere
    – Matt
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 19:59

The confusion here may be over the meaning of "safe passage." Janeway isn't asking for help, she's asking for her ship to be left alone. Voyager will cross Borg space under its own power. The only reason she's contemplating this is to avoid an even longer trip around Borg space.

The specific answer is that the Borg aren't willing to give their transwarp technology to humans, and Janeway's not willing to accept it. The only reason the Borg are contemplating the deal is to get a weapon against Species 8472.

  • They may not want to share, but In Endgame: part 2, its shown that Voyager can easily be tractor-ed inside a sphere, (which is alot smaller than a cube), they could have taken Voyager across their space in minutes and had the 'weapon' sooner. Instead they escort it at warp (a 10 year trip across)
    – Matt
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 15:20
  • @Matt - Sure, but would you park your ship inside a cube if you had stuff they wanted?
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 8:41

The Borg wanted to have the technology immediately. Species 8472 was threatening their very survival. Also, they didn't want to pass up the change to assimilate Voyager. The Federation might be inferior to the Borg, but it newer hurts to know what the new kids on the block are up to.

It seems that the Voyager crew was not really aware of the Borg's transwarp capabilities yet, and the Borg knew that. The Borg used this knowledge to create a False Dilemma. Also, there were a few other reasons to not mention their Transwarp capabilities.

  • 1
    If they wanted it immediately then 2.6 min at transwarp is better than escorting Voyager for 10 years, which is what they agreed to in the end(and safer than risking 8472 destroying Voyager). +1 for you second point about being aware of transwarp, although Borg transwarp corridors were used in TNG so its unlikely Voyager wasn't aware the Borg had it
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 13:11
  • I agree. Borg Transwarp was definitely already known to the Federation. But they probably didn't know that about every Borg vessel can do it and that the galaxy was pretty much like a village for the Borg thanks to the Transwarp hubs.
    – MauganRa
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 13:22

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